The former Bottega restaurant on Maryland Avenue in Station North will soon become a European-style cafe thanks to a couple that used to work in the space.
Rosemary Liss and Will Mester met at the Italian restaurant in 2015. After several years and world travels, the pair has returned to their Baltimore roots to open Le Comptoir du Vin, a bistro and wine bar that pays homage to a favorite cafe in Lyon, France.
The wine selection will focus on more obscure French and naturally produced varieties but nothing is off the table.
“At the end of the day, if it’s a wine that really excites us, it will be on the menu,” Liss said.
As for food, Mester has been developing pates, fish entrees, soups and salads along with other signature French dishes, although the menu will reflect a variety of cultures.
Liss said the project is very much a collaboration. With her background in fermentation, Liss will lead the front of the house while Mester, who formerly worked at Woodberry Kitchen and helped found Parts and Labor, will develop the food.
Liss said they hope to create a “casual atmosphere that’s comfortable and convivial to hang out in.”
“We both think that’s something missing in the city so we wanted to create it,” Liss said.
The space has 75 seats and part of the restaurant will be an indoor/outdoor space.
The owners began working on the project this summer and hope to open in the fall.